Bor­row bags com­mon­sense for store

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page - CHLOE WIN­TER

First they banned plas­tic bags, now Welling­ton or­ganic su­per­mar­ket Com­mon­sense are get­ting rid of corn starch bags in favour of ‘‘bor­row bags’’.

Com­mon­sense, which has five stores across the Welling­ton re­gion and one in Auck­land, has been plas­tic bag free for about 10 years, in­stead of­fer­ing sus­tain­able, sin­gle-use film bags.

How­ever, Com­mon­sense coowner Mar­ion Wood said even the corn starch bags ‘‘aren’t good enough’’, as they re­quired com­mer­cial com­post­ing, mean­ing many of them still ended up in land­fill.

As a re­sult, the su­per­mar­ket own­ers have de­cided to of­fer bags made from nat­u­ral fi­bres and re­cy­cled cloth, which peo­ple can bor­row and bring back.

Since go­ing plas­tic bag free, most cus­tomers had been ‘‘very re­spon­sive’’ by bring­ing their own bags, or tak­ing a box, Wood said.

‘‘But we hes­i­tated to go that last step, be­cause we don’t want to in­con­ve­nience cus­tomers who don’t have their own bag with them.

‘‘We looked at get­ting cheap re­us­able plas­tic shop­ping bags, but de­cided they were still part of the prob­lem.’’

The com­pany de­cided to pi­lot the bor­row bags in its Kapiti store, us­ing prod­ucts from Boomerang Bags, which makes bags for peo­ple to bor­row and bring back. Wood said the trial was suc­cess­ful and the com­pany would now roll it out across all of its stores.

‘‘Fewer sin­gle use shop­ping bags cre­ates a win-win-win sit­u­a­tion. It means a win for the land­fills and the oceans, a win for our cus­tomers, and a win for fair trade re­us­able bags.’’

Boomerang Bags Welling­ton has pro­vided 100 bags made from re­cy­cled cloth to help Com­mon­sense get started.

In ad­di­tion, Com­mon­sense has bought fair trade jute bags to sup­ple­ment sup­ply.

Com­mon­sense own­ers Jim Kebbell, left, and Mar­ion Wood.

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